Use Your Instincts To Make Better Decisions

Intuition; sometimes it’s that little voice inside your head, and the ‘feeling’ you involuntarily get about a situation, person or even a decision. In the business landscape, it’s often quite a struggle to know which way to proceed – do you listen to your head and its wealth of experience and logic, or do you go with your heart and your gut feeling, which in some cases might defy all logic?

Albert Einstein had an interesting take on this topic. He famously stated, “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honours the servant and has forgotten the gift.”

Irrespective of which side you serve, there are plenty of worldwide game-changers who attribute their profound success to following their intuition. The late Steve Jobs suggested intuition and courage go hand in hand.

Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.”

So just how do you channel better intuition in the boardroom? Firstly, consider the outcomes. If your intuition is leading you down a different path and that means changing an important decision, weigh up the outcome. Ask yourself what’s at stake, look at the risk involved and above all, stay true to your ethic and your core business goals.

Don’t be afraid to let people down in spite of following your intuition. Sometimes your gut feeling will go against the tide and a high-risk decision may just upset the flow and offend in the process.

On the topic of flow, be sure to keep synchronicity. Intuition and divine intervention sometimes go hand in hand to ensure the path you’re on keeps on an upward trajectory. Logic doesn’t consider synchronicity and (as corny as it sounds), look for signs because they really are all around.

Confirmation often presents itself in the most obvious, yet easily missed way. It might be the lyrics to a song that you keep hearing, or a word you keep seeing, or a person you keep bumping in to.

And finally, block out all the noise. Most successful businesses boasts an assembly of brilliant minds, and with that comes different opinions. Sometimes too much input can muddle the path and disrupt the process. Block out other opinions so you can focus and listen to what your gut is telling you – it will be there, you just have to find it, listen hard and above all, have the courage to trust it.

Have you ever followed your intuition over logic? Tell us below, we’d love to hear your experience.

 

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How To Get More Out Of Your Staff & Make More Money

Every workplace has that one employee who watches the clock like a hawk, leaves work the second the clock strikes five and takes every sick day as soon as it rolls around. It’s generally the same employee who mingles for long coffee breaks in the kitchen, takes long lunch hours and generally does the minimum amount of work required to not get fired.

So as a CEO and leader, how exactly do you get the most out of your staff to ensure productivity is at an all-time high? We’ve put together a few tips on how to motivate and inspire your staff and lead them to better productivity.

Clearly define roles and set realistic KPIs:
Employees who are performing tasks beyond their job description can generally feel defeated and unappreciated. A good leader will ensure their staff have clearly defined roles, responsibilities and KPIs. It’s hard for staff to feel motivated if they feel like they are constantly falling short of expectations set for them, because the role description and KPIs are unrealistic. Be sure to regularly assess and modify roles for staff to ensure they experience a sense of self achievement through their work.

Celebrate all wins and milestones:
There’s nothing more rewarding or motivating than celebrating company milestones and successes. Not only does it help break up the employee’s day-to-day routine (cake and champagne in the boardroom is always a good incentive), it also helps lift morale. Find reasons to celebrate wins – large or small – throughout the company on a regular basis. It also makes each staff member feel like they’re part of a bigger, successful team.

Break the Routine:
Midweek team building or social days are a great way to get staff to build relationships beyond the boardroom. It’s also a fantastic way to break the monotony and routine of their standard working day. For leaders, it’s a great way to show appreciation for staff and it’s a great way to mingle with staff whom you may not connect with on a daily basis in the workplace.

Ask The Questions:
Great leaders will always be somewhat accountable for the success and contentment of their staff. Regular one-on-ones in a very casual and relaxed environment is a great way to monitor how your staff members are going with their workload. It is also a good time for them to bring up areas of concerns. Just be sure to provide an environment where they feel like they can speak freely without risk of it affecting their employment.

Climbing The Ladder:
Having a strategy in place for further training, development and escalation up the corporate ladder is a great way to motivate, create job satisfaction and increase productivity. Devising an individual plan for each staff member with an eye on future expansion within the company is one strategy great leaders take to ensure greater employee satisfaction. That way the employee feels as though they have a future in the company and can work towards a goal of progression up the ladder.

Stimulate your staff and increase your profits – at JDL Strategies, we help make your money work for you. Come along to one of our nearby, half-day Fast Track events or take advantage of JDL Strategies’ free 2-hour events and learn how.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Work/Life Balance – How To Achieve It

“I don’t look at work as work and play as play; to me they are the same thing. If a new business opportunity or project doesn’t excite me and if it’s not something with which I can have a lot of seriously creative fun, then I’d rather pass on it and move right along. Life’s too short to waste your time doing things that don’t light your fire.”

This quote from Richard Branson is a rather powerful take on the life-work balance debate.

Finding the ultimate work-lifestyle balance is like the holygrail for any entrepreneur, CEO or everyday person grinding the 9-to-5. Technology now means we’re accessible 24 hours a day and with high unemployment, the pressure of job security leads to longer working hours and a somewhat sliding work-life balance. And if you’re a start-up, pfft, forget it. You’ll be working around the clock and spending every last waking minute working on your new and exciting project.

In fact, anecdotal evidence suggests that more than 90% of the Australian workforce work a 50+-hour work week. But how do we ensure that we run like a well-oiled machine so we can sustain high levels of productivity and is the concept of a great work-life balance just one big delusion?

Getting the balance right is good for your health, your relationships, your mental and your overall physical wellbeing.

Here are five tips to help you get on the path of a good work-life balance.

Disconnect: In most cases, technology has us checking our work emails in bed at night and on weekends. Don’t be a slave to technology and learn to disconnect. It’s really important to put up boundaries and personal policies and these might include only checking emails twice a day at certain times during the work day, and never once you leave the office. In fact, make it a daily routine to put your phone on silent and in the drawer every day for at least one hour. It’s important to disconnect so you can reconnect and give your mind a chance to wind down and rejuvenate.

Turn your Passion Into Your Work: You hear this one often, but achieving it is challenging. Unstoppables’ founder Julio De Laffitte definitely falls into this category. He, and his business are one and the same. There is no such thing as work for him because he lives and breathes and LOVES what he does. You’ll find this is a common denominator amongst most entrepreneurs and successful business leaders. Find what lights your fire and put some thought into how you can turn that into a business or ongoing work.

Meditate: The art of meditation is difficult to achieve and takes a lot of practise. The benefits of meditation are vast and wide. It claims to increase brain function, aid better sleep patterns, increase immunity and fight disease amongst many more. Taking a minimum of 15 minutes each morning to meditate before work is the first step in a better balance all-round. You’ll be surprised at how many of our Unstoppable entrepreneurs make meditation part of their daily ritual.

Exercise: This one is a no-brainer and if you’re not exercising regularly then you need to start – now. The benefits of regular exercise transcend to the boardroom and into the living room of the family home. Start your day with a minimum of a 30-minute walk to clear your brain and get fresh oxygenated blood pumping around the body to ensure more productivity in the office and more time for loved ones outside of the work day.

Be Ruthless With Your Schedule: This is possibly the most important of all. If you’re working in excess of 60 hours a week you probably have a personal assistant who manages your diary and meetings. Get him or her to set aside personal time every single week. Block it out in your diary like it is an important meeting and refuse to alter it for anyone. One of the biggest mistakes we make is rescheduling private and personal time for colleagues or business. Be ruthless with this and put some boundaries around your own personal time to spend with family and friends and resist the urge to bend this rule for anyone.

 

 

 

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Five Quick & Handy Money Tips

We usually wait until the start of a new financial year to re-evaluate our finances and pay attention to some of those pesky bills we’ve been overlooking.

But any time of the year is a good time to pay attention to all the money that is going in, and going out. Here are a few tips to make sure you’re running a tight financial ship throughout the year.

  1. Know your rates: These days consumers have the power to shop around and when it comes to your mortgage or credit card this is no exception. Know exactly what interest rate you’re paying on each of your loans, take a look at the fees and prioritise the ones that are higher so you can pay them off sooner. Look at options, such as refinancing your mortgage for a better rate and balance transfers for your credit card so you can get on top of them and pay them off. This same rule applies to service providers. Don’t be afraid to renegotiate and shop around for your phone and electricity plans – it can save you cold, hard cash.
  2. Carry Cash: Paying with cash is usually a bit more psychologically confronting than just whipping the plastic out at the cash register. Carrying cash generally makes you more accountable and can be really helpful for those who want to keep an eye on what they’re spending.
  3. Budget & Stick To It: This is an oldie but a goldie. If you want to get your finances in order the first place to start is with a good budget. When creating your budget, make sure it is comprehensive and realistic and be sure to stick to it!
  4. Pay yourself first: Put the old, 80:20 rule to good use and put 20 per cent of your income towards savings, then use the rest to pay bills and live. This old rule has worked well for many in the past.
  5. Pay Your Bills On Time: Be organised and know exactly when your bills are due and have the money ready to pay them. Late fees and dishonour bank fees can add up quickly and can sneak up on you when you don’t expect it. Make the most of early bird payment options and save, save, save.

If you want to see where your financial inefficiencies are then come along to the half-day Fast Track event near you. Or, take advantage of JDL Strategies 2-hour event and learn how to make your money start working for you.

 

 

 

 

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How Many Properties Do You Need to Retire?

If you are relying on using income for investment properties as a retirement plan then it may not be in your best interest to acquire as many assets as you can possibly afford. Times have changed: property taxes are higher and renters are more unreliable. This then begs the question: “How many properties do I have to own to allow me to retire and live comfortably?”

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You Are Wasting Money Each Week – Here’s How To Stop!

Tax time is a confronting time of the year for a lot of people who do their sums, realise what they earnt for the year and then wonder how on Earth they spent all that money? Ever wondered where all of your money actually went?

Well don’t beat yourself up too much, it appears this same trend has been happening for over one hundred years. As Will Rogers put it in the late 1800s “Too many people spend money they earned, to buy things they don’t want to, to impress people that they don’t like.”

And while ol’ Will might have been on to something way back then, it appears it’s almost human nature to want to consume and spend.

Founder of JDL Strategies, Julio De Laffite, has coined a term for the money people waste without realising it. He’s called it the ‘burn factor’.

“The burn factor came about because people always wanted to know where their financial inefficiencies were. We found that most families were, on average, wasting or burning around six hundred dollars per week through inefficiencies and not having a strategy in place to minimise their tax and then drive down debt,” he says.

“I call it the burn factor, because they are essentially burning this money each and every week. This money can be the difference between finding financial freedom and never reaching it.”

The old adage ‘it’s not what you earn, it’s what you spend’ couldn’t be more true when it comes to getting your finances in order.

Have you ever wondered what your ‘burn factor’ is? Discovering what you are burning each and every week is just the first step to better wealth.

If you are ready to find your financial inefficiencies then come along to the half-day Fast Track event near you. Or, take advantage of JDL Strategies 2-hour event and learn how to get a strategy for financial freedom so you can stop burning, and start making your money work for you.

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Smart Money Habits to Teach Your Kids

Smart money habits aren’t formed overnight. But you can teach your kids valuable attitudes toward money while they’re still young.

Take a look at the following pointers:

Encourage children to do odd jobs around the house to earn pocket money

Kids may not understand clearly what it means to earn money. You can introduce them to the idea by encouraging them to do additional chores like cleaning the garage or mowing the lawn. Pay them with extra pocket money or reward them with treats.

Help set up a savings plan

Once your child is earning pocket money, help them establish a budget and start a savings plan. Allow them to identify and establish goals, so that they know they have to save for certain purchases. You can introduce a reward scheme to get them used to the feeling of achievement when they save. For example, you can contribute 25% or 50% of the amount they’ve saved to their fund.

Let your kids experience your work environment

If possible, allow your kids to visit your place of work. This gives them an idea of how it’s like to work in such environment and helps them appreciate maximising productivity. You can also stress the importance of having a good attitude towards work and how it could mould them as better adults in the future.

Let your kids have fun

Learning never has to be boring. Teach your kids that they too can have fun while being financially savvy. Let them enjoy the great outdoors, be active, and make the most of their youth.

Being money-smart is perhaps one of the best gifts we can give to our children. Good habits, when established early, will enable young Australians to provide for their own future and to start saving for their first property investments.

To know more about smart wealth creation strategies and growing your property portfolio, call us today.

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The Start-Up Cycle – How To Survive It

You have an idea. A great idea. It keeps you awake at night and it’s all you can think about. For the next few months you put all of your blood, sweat, fears and tears into this new project and you’re sure you’re about to set the world on fire and make the money of your dreams.

Then, out of nowhere uncertainty creeps in like a thick, black suffocating blanket and you start doubting your ability to even pull this start-up off at all. Fears paralyse you and you are looking failure right in the face.

Sound familiar?

Don’t worry, you are not alone. In fact the emotional start-up cycle is a very real phenomena and it goes something like this:

  1. This is awesome, I can do this
  2. This is tricky, but I think I can do this
  3. This is hard, I don’t think I can do this
  4. This is impossible, I can’t do this at all, what was I thinking – I will fail
  5. This might be okay, I might keep trying
  6. This is awesome, I’ve got this (I think)

So how do you navigate your way through the emotional start-up rollercoaster ride and how exactly do you ensure you make it through numbers three and four with enough energy to push on?

Here’s a little dose of inspiration to keep you moving through the cycle on the path to start-up greatness:

Vision: Don’t lose sight of the big picture – the very reason you started this project in the first place. Ideally you identified a need or a problem and found a solution. Don’t get swept up in the finer details and the hurdles and chicanes in your path. Keep an eye on the purpose of your project, the problem it will solve and the audience it will help. Let this be a motivator and stay true to your purpose.

Hunger: Hunger is a driving force for any start-up and it’s the one thing that can fade and get swallowed up in all of the challenging times. Hunger really is the difference between where you are now, and where you want to be. It’s the best motivator you can get. Stay hungry, remind yourself of the end goals and where you want to be. Put these desires up on the walls around you like affirmations and look at them every day as a reminder.

Block Out The Noise: Along the journey, you will have people telling you lots of different things. Some will encourage you along the way, some will be riddled with negativity and only see the challenges. There will also be people who will straight up tell you, you will fail. It’s hard to know who to listen to and who to block out completely. You need to listen to some of the negativity in order to consider all variables, be prepared and make educated decisions (don’t bury your head in the sand).  Keep an open mind, calm yourself and don’t be afraid to let negative people, go. Sometimes they’re toxic to the project.

Talk It Up, But Not Often: Sometimes people fall in to the trap of talking their project to proverbial death. They talk about it so much, that it exhausts them and they fall in love with the idea of the project, not the hard yards needed to bring the project to life. This is common in many start-ups, where the creator will run out of creative energy before the product or service gets to market. Keep conversations tight and short and share only with those who will help levitate you. And most of all, talk it up to yo

urself. Keep your head up and know that no matter what you do, you’ll more than likely have to ride out the storms of numbers three and four at some point during the cycle. Remember, you’ve got this!

Make the most of your money and make it start working for you! At JDL Strategies we show you how. Do yourself a favour and come along to our free, two-hour event in a city near you, or get along to our Fast Track half-day seminar and change the way you look at and manage your finances, forever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Home Loan – Make The Most Of Low Interest Rates

Headlines about interest rates are in the news all the time partly because the cash rate is at the lowest levels ever seen before, but also because banks and lending institutions are getting more competitive with their home loan rates. This environment has sparked a wave of refinancing, where people are choosing to leave their bank to chase better rates.

Finding a home loan that is merely .25% lower than what you might be paying now, can result in saving tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your loan, so it’s definitely worth shopping around.

Most lending institutions will offer both a fixed and variable interest rate, they’ll also package up home loans and bundle up a range of additional extras like credit cards and discounts across insurance and various other products.

So when it comes to giving your mortgage a health check, what exactly should you be looking for? We’ve put together a few little tips below that might make your home loan research a little easier so you can shop around to find the best deal for you and your family. It can take a little time, but it could save you a lot of money in the long run!

RATES: Most people are drawn to the lowest rate straight away, which is common sense. However if the home loan is a package, take notice of the annual fees as these might end up compromising that .10% lower rate. Rates will differ for ‘fixed’ and ‘variable’. A variable rate is subject to fluctuate at any time, meaning it can go up or down. A fixed rate is generally locked in for a period of time between two and five years, and this means the rate will not alter for that entire period.

If you’re shopping around, consider if you’re looking to refinance an investment property loan, or a home loan for your principal place of residence (PPR). Remember, an investment property loan will generally have a slightly different rate and terms so don’t be drawn to the headlines and advertised rates straight away. Be sure to do your research. The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) determine the cash rate on the first Tuesday of every month (except January). Banks and lending institutions do not follow the RBA rates but can fluctuate in line with them.

ACCOUNTS: A home loan package will generally come with certain savings-type accounts. Be sure to keep in mind if these accounts suit your needs and if there are fees and charges on these accounts. An offset account is quite often a popular choice for those with a mortgage. An offset account offsets interest based on the balance of funds. For instance, if you have a mortgage worth $200,000 and you have $20,000 of savings in your offset account, you’ll only get charged interest on $180,000. Some mortgages also offer a redraw facility where you can draw down on extra money you’ve put into your loan. Do your research and consider what is right for you and your circumstances.

TERMS & EXIT FEES: Each lender can provide a home loan over a different term but the most common is 25 or 30 years. Discuss with the bank whether you can make repayments weekly or fortnightly, as this can be a great strategy to try to pay down your loan sooner. You can choose to pay interest only (IO), which is just the interest payable on the loan amount. Or you can pay principal and interest (P&I), which means you pay both the interest and some of the loan amount.

If you have a mortgage with one bank, and you’re looking to move your home loan to another bank with a better offer, be sure to check on your exit fees. Some home loans have exit fees and they can range from just a few hundred dollars to thousands. This should be one of the first things you investigate before shopping around.

FEES: Keep an eye out for fees and remember that refinancing with another bank can cost you. Don’t get lured in simply by rate, and remember to factor in exit fees from your current bank and set up fees at your new bank along with any annual fees that the mortgage might have. If the new mortgage comes with a credit card facility check the terms and conditions and interest rate on purchases, and if there are lots of extras and discounts included just check the fine print as you may be paying for this somewhere else hidden in the loan.

This is general information only and should not be considered financial advice. For financial advice based on your individual circumstances, contact the friendly team at JDL Strategies!  

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Having A Work-Life Balance; Myth or Reality?

“I don’t look at work as work and play as play; to me they are the same thing. If a new business opportunity or project doesn’t excite me and if it’s not something with which I can have a lot of seriously creative fun, then I’d rather pass on it and move right along. Life’s too short to waste your time doing things that don’t light your fire.”

This quote from Richard Branson is a rather powerful take on the life-work balance debate.

Finding the ultimate work-lifestyle balance is like the holygrail for any entrepreneur, CEO or everyday person grinding the 9-to-5. Technology now means we’re accessible 24 hours a day and with high unemployment, the pressure of job security leads to longer working hours and a somewhat sliding work-life balance. And if you’re a start-up, pfft, forget it. You’ll be working around the clock and spending every last waking minute working on your new and exciting project.

In fact, anecdotal evidence suggests that more than 90% of the Australian workforce work a 50+-hour work week. But how do we ensure that we run like a well-oiled machine so we can sustain high levels of productivity and is the concept of a great work-life balance just one big delusion?

Getting the balance right is good for your health, your relationships, your mental and your overall physical wellbeing.

Here are five tips to help you get on the path to a good work-life balance.

Disconnect: In most cases, technology has us checking our work emails in bed at night and on weekends. Don’t be a slave to technology and learn to disconnect. It’s really important to put up boundaries and personal policies and these might include only checking emails twice a day at certain times during the work day, and never once you leave the office. In fact, make it a daily routine to put your phone on silent and in the drawer every day for at least one hour. It’s important to disconnect so you can reconnect and give your mind a chance to wind down and rejuvenate.

Turn your Passion Into Your Work: You hear this one often, but achieving it is challenging. JDL Strategies’ founder Julio De Laffitte definitely falls into this category. He, and his business are one and the same. There is no such thing as work for him because he lives and breathes and LOVES what he does. You’ll find this is a common denominator amongst most entrepreneurs and successful business leaders. Find what lights your fire and put some thought into how you can turn that into a business or ongoing work.

Meditate: The art of meditation is difficult to achieve and takes a lot of practise. The benefits of meditation are vast and wide. It claims to increase brain function, aid better sleep patterns, increase immunity and fight disease amongst many more. Taking a minimum of 15 minutes each morning to meditate before work is the first step in a better balance all-round. You’ll be surprised at how many of our Unstoppable entrepreneurs make meditation part of their daily ritual.

Exercise: This one is a no-brainer and if you’re not exercising regularly then you need to start – now. The benefits of regular exercise transcend to the boardroom and into the living room of the family home. Start your day with a minimum of a 30-minute walk to clear your brain and get fresh oxygenated blood pumping around the body to ensure more productivity in the office and more time for loved ones outside of the work day.

Be Ruthless With Your Schedule: This is possibly the most important of all. If you’re working in excess of 60 hours a week you probably have a personal assistant who manages your diary and meetings. Get him or her to set aside personal time every single week. Block it out in your diary like it is an important meeting and refuse to alter it for anyone. One of the biggest mistakes we make is rescheduling private and personal time for colleagues or business. Be ruthless with this and put some boundaries around your own personal time to spend with family and friends and resist the urge to bend this rule for anyone.

 

 

 

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